KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Have you ever wondered what really happens behind the scenes at a police station? Well, the Kilgore Police Department is giving Kilgore residents a chance with their Citizen’s Police Academy. In fact, the eight-week course has even led to a career for some.
Kilgore Police Department’s Lt Johnathan Gage says much of what the public learns about police work is:
“Through TV shows and things like that. And what this program allows us to do for them is to teach them what it’s really like to be a police officer,” Gage said.
So for 13 years, KPD has been explaining it very clearly in an eight-week course.
“Most people’s experience with police officers is lights in their rear-view,” I offered.
“Exactly, a lot of our contact with citizens comes through traffic stops, yes,” he agreed.
Or, unfortunately, the contact could have other negative interactions. However, this course will start on a positive note with a tour of the PD a chance to do some interesting stuff.
“Firearms demonstrations. They’ll also get to partake in the firearms simulator. We’ll take them to the driving range, and we’ll take them around the track in our police cars,” Gage explained.
They’ll set up a mock crime scene, have a taser demonstration, and have guest speakers.
“The district attorney will come in and he will do a presentation on what he does also,” Gage stated.
All of that rolled together has really fascinated some attendees like Justin Murphy.
“I went through the citizen’s academy, went on my ride along, and after my ride along, decided that that was something I wanted to do full time,” Murphy said.
He’s worked at KPD for six years. He recommends the course.
“You get to see what life is like on a day-to-day basis as a patrol officer,” Murphy stated.
“It’s a lot. It’s interesting; it’s fun. It’s engaging, and people tend to really enjoy it,” Gage added.
And participants won’t waste a bunch of money if they discover it’s not really for them.
The course runs Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. in Kilgore, starting on March 28. You do have to pass a background check, and it’s open to anyone who lives or works in Kilgore. For more information or to sign up, click here.